The Initiative Q : Next Bitcoin | Pyramid Scheme

The initiative Q a payment network, founded by former PayPal employee Saar Wilf has got the notice of everyone even before it has been officially launched. The yet to be launched startup is inviting select individuals to join its network and also enlist their friends for the same. In its last report, Initiative Q has already gained over Two million subscribers from 180 different countries.

Looking at the team behind the project and the interest it has generated in the crypto world, many media houses went ahead to dub it as the ‘Next Bitcoin.’ However, the website mentions that Initiative Q does not offer any new form of blockchain or any crypto token.

The media hype around the brand undoubtedly offers two very distinct lessons for many;

  • One, people from the crypto world can learn and try to emulate the proactive marketing that has gone behind the brand.
  • Second, how cryptocurrencies and blockchain as a technology are misunderstood. A brand which is a form of payment system is being dubbed as the ‘Next Bitcoin.’

Is it a form of Pyramid Scheme?

The founder Mr. Saar Wilf says that the reason behind pre-building a user-base even before the brand has a product to offer is because the initial user base would play a very significant role in establishing the payment system. He says,

“The reason we’re not seeing a globally popular modern payment network is the “chicken and egg” barrier — no buyer will join a new payment network with no sellers, and no seller will offer a new payment option that no buyer uses,” 

The explanation given by Mr. Saar Wilf might sound interesting and even promising to some extent; however, a specific section in the crypto world does not seem to be impressed. According to them, the business strategy has many parallels with Pyramid scheme, where a particular group of people at higher-level gain the most, while the rest towards the bottom exhaust everything in lieu of getting in that zone.

An informal poll was conducted on Twitter to see what the crypto fans think about the  Initiative Q. The results could surprise Mr. Wilf as 55% of the people think it is a potential scam in the making. The cries of fraud from different people is resonated by portals like Mashable, who believes its nothing more than a unique Marketing genius.

Initiative Q Explains how it is not a pyramid scheme.

The founder Mr. Wilf says that the initial recruits have been brought on to solve fundamental problems faced by Payment Networks, rather than making money out of ‘Greater Fools’

An excerpt,

“Initiative Q’s ability to recruit a critical mass of buyers and sellers to adopt a new payment system, allows us to simultaneously upgrade the whole infrastructure end-to-end – something that no one was able to achieve so far,” he says. “This will make payments far simpler, faster, and cheaper.”

On confusions in the particular section of public and media regarding Initiative Q being the ‘Next Bitcoin,’ Mr. Wilf explains further,

“Since the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies increased significantly and rapidly about 12-18 months ago, they have received much public attention […] and consequently I think that the terms cryptocurrency and digital currency have erroneously become synonymous. Since Q is offering a new payment network and digital currency, and many hope it could someday have significant value, this comparison by lay people is to be expected.”

The explanation seems valid and reasonable for the most part. However, the confusion of being the next Bitcoin clearly explains how ill-informed the world is about cryptocurrencies. Majority of the non-technical and a very significant section in the technical field as well seems to be clueless about the differences between the Blockchain (Technology) and Cryptocurrencies (By-Product of technology).

The Initiative Q drama should serve as a fundamental lesson for everyone in the crypto world. The crypto community first needs to make the common population aware of what exactly cryptocurrencies are and how it would serve them better than their traditional systems.